It seems that our new £9m striker is struggling to get to grips with life in the Premier League at the moment, with the language barrier causing a problem for the Senegal international according to Alan Pardew.
Personally I don’t think that will be a permanent thing and he’ll soon adjust. It will just take a bit of time for the former Freiberg hitman to settle, and once he has done that we should start to see the best of him.
The problem is what to do with him now? Do we continue to play him hoping that he gets into his stride on the pitch by playing games? Or do we wrap him up in cotton wool a little bit and keep him away from the action until he is ready, in much the same way Davide Santon was wrapped up in cotton wool for a bit?
Well if you listen to Alan Pardew today, it could be the second option and a space on the bench for our new number nine.
“I can’t explain to him in great detail what I want him to do and what he can do for the team,” explained Pardew, whose side have won just one of their last six league games,” said Pardew in his pre-match press conference.
He continued: “You’re doing it through interpreters and the message can get lost. He’s a good lad and he’s diligent. He can speak four languages already so I don’t think learning another one is going to be a problem.”
“I want to protect him a little bit because he got off to such a flying start, but there was always going to be a period when he’s going to find it difficult and he has — make no bones about that.”
After explaining the difficulties the language barrier presents, Pardew then went on to explain how there are also other problems with regards to Cisse at the moment, especially with how to play him in the side effectively and play to his strengths.
Pardew said: “What I do know is that in training, his finishing is a huge asset. The problem that we’ve got at the moment is that we’re not creating enough chances for him. We’re not getting him in a position to score. So there’s no point in him being on the pitch if we’re not able to dominate the game and create chances where he can bring out what’s best in him.”
“Plus it’s a tougher league and there are more physical centre-halves here who don’t give him the time he had in the Bundesliga.”
“He’s certainly found the last couple of games tough and this Sunday, hopefully he’ll get the message that we’re trying to get to him about what he needs to do.”
So mixed messages from Alan Pardew then? On one hand he is talking about “protecting” the 26-year-old whilst in the other he is hinting that he will play against Norwich tomorrow after sitting out the Arsenal game last time.
The part about creating chances is also interesting. I think most of us aware that we aren’t exactly playing fluidly at the moment and haven’t been creating chances (aside from the second-half against the filth!) for some time now. In a sense we’ve been babysitting the back four, which we didn’t have to do with Steven Taylor in the side as much, which is having an impact on our attacking play. This video (available in the UK only unfortunately) illustrates it better than my words ever could,but it basically shows that we hold one midfielder back at all times, whether it be Cheik Tiote or Yohan Cabaye, which limits our attacking play.
So anyway, what do you do with Cisse? Do we carry on playing in the hope that he starts to come good? or do we allow him to take aback seat for a bit whilst he gets acquainted with life in a new culture and new country?
Your thoughts please?